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Semantics for Translation Students



Ali Almanna

This book is an introduction to semantics for students and researchers who are new to the field, especially those interested in Arabic–English translation and Arabic–English contrastive studies. The book first presents key concepts in semantics, pragmatics, semiotics, syntax and morphology and gradually introduces readers to the central questions of semantics. These issues are then analysed and discussed in conjunction with the act of translating between Arabic and English. Seeking a balance between theoretical developments and empirical investigation, the book thus provides both a systematic overview of semantics and an application in the field of English and Arabic contrastive semantics, hence offering a resource for students and teachers of Arabic–English translation.


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Chapter 3: Morphology


Chapter 3 Morphology Key terms • Analytic causativity • Causativity • Free morphemes • Grammatical morphemes • Inflectional morphemes • Lexical causativity • Morpheme • Morphological causativity • Morphology • Syntax • Transitivity The previous chapter looked into three main approaches to describing the relationships between words and concepts, namely semantic field, formal approaches (such as componential analysis and meaning postulates approach), and frame semantics. This chapter gives full consideration to morphology, causativity, and transitivity in a direct link with the actual act of translating a text. 3.1 Grammar Grammar has two main dimensions: morphology and syntax. Morphology focuses on the structure of lexical items, the units that make up lexical items, and the way in which the form of lexical items varies, thus indicating 36 Chapter 3 specific contrasts in the grammatical system of language, such as past/ present/future, singular/dual/plural, passive/active, etc. (Almanna 2016: 83). Syntax, on the other hand, deals with the grammatical structure of groups of words (clauses vs sentences), and the linear sequence of classes of words (noun, verb, adverb, adjective, etc.). The syntactic structure imposes restrictions on the way messages can be organized in the text. Syntacticians describe how words combine into phrases and clauses, and how these combine to form sentences. For example, I bought a book two days ago is embedded as a relative clause in the sentence The book that I bought two days ago is quite valuable and interesting. Choices in language can be expressed grammatically or lexically. In this respect, Almanna (2016: 82) comments: “Choices made from closed systems (singular/dual/plural; past/present/future;...

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